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Mar 8

Short-Term Benefits, Long-Term Consequences

Posted on Sunday, March 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

Untitled-TrueColor-63Choices, like yours and mine, often make sense at the moment of decision, but too often impulsive decisions come with unexpected consequences. This is part-6 of the “10 for 25” series on important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.

The Moment Of Decision

I love softball. Several years ago while playing in a softball tournament I was faced with a decision that has affected thousands of people since.

Let me explain.

Jul 23


Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

BiancaRamirezandfriendTo paraphrase a great quote: “Good people inspire themselves; great people inspire others.” 

I love that my life is filled with people like my friend Bianca. Her courage, determination and resolve inspires me to be better at what I do.

Thanks to Bianca, and all the rest of you who don’t settle and want more

You can read more about Bianca’s courage and TreeHouse’s contribution to her life here.

Apr 4

Wednesday Wounds

Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

Tuesday, yeah, that’s when things didn’t go so well!

I’ve led hundreds and hundreds of support groups. They’re a regular part of my schedule and one of the joys of my week. Most nights are great.

That night something was weird at TreeHouse!

It Started Bad

Several teens were mad at me. Why?  My responsibility was to create a safe, supportive atmosphere.  Support groups with eight teens are common.  That night teens split up into a group of eight, a group of twelve, and a group of five.  

Jan 27

If Only She Knew…If Only He Knew

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Cuts lined her arms.
He drinks himself into oblivion.

She chases after “Mr. Perfect.”
He’s looking to “hit it.”

She’s settling.
He’s settling.

You must love yourself before you can love another.

Accept yourself for who you are, but don’t “settle.”
– Don’t let addictions stand in your way.
– Don’t let lies blind you.
– Don’t let self-pity poison your heart.

“You’re better than that!!!”  That’s mysilentscream.

May 11

Wounding Yourself After Being Wounded

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


THE QUESTION: Our son’s girlfriend broke up with him about a year ago. He doesn’t show any signs moving on with his life. He cuts on his arm. It looks so awful. He doesn’t date. What can I do with him?

OUR REPLY: “The breakup of a relationship is almost always very painful to at least one partner, and you did the right thing by looking for help. God does care very deeply about your son, and God doesn’t want him to spend the rest of his life believing something about himself that isn’t true. He has a right to grieve. He will get through this painful time. Remind him that you care and that he does not have to go through his grief alone.”

May 2

Why Do People Cut Themselves?

Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

“My friend cuts.” “Our daughter cuts.” “My son cuts.” “I cannot understand why. It’s so disgusting!”

There are many methods to self-injure.  I’ll not list them all.  I’ll use “cutting” as a synonym for all forms of self-injury.

There are reasons people self-injure, I’ll mention one.  Most people that I know would say that they began cutting as way to “relieve the pain”.

While I remember glorying in my wounds and trying to get attention for damage that I caused myself, most “cutters” do not cut to get attention.  Contrary to any preconceived notions you may have cutting is seldom a reflecting of suicidal thoughts.  Instead, the cuts reflect intense emotional pain. Pain that seems uncontrollable.

Apr 29

Caring About Cutters & People I Don’t Understand…Like Me

Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

She sat with her back to the wall.  Slumped over with what looked like the weight of her world on her shoulders.  Tenderhearted and caring she was weighed down with pain.

She acted tough because she was strong, but even tough people can be tender and she was both.

Dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt.  She had painted her nails with black nail polish.  She looked “goth” long before “goth” became a fashion statement, trendy and a feature on SNL.

While it’s not a requirement to talk in our TreeHouse support groups most teens take advantage of the opportunity to talk and to listen, to hear and be heard, to understand and be understood.